The city that never sleeps is so close yet seems so far away. I pass tourists sipping coffee or wandering the village asking for directions, and they are a world away. Finally, I am the tourist for just one day, and a visit to one of my favorites… a chance to see the Matisse cut outs while they show their ephemeral faces at MoMA this season. These delicate constructions have a presence that resonates through history like not much else. And I can’t help but feel it’s the elusive nature of this humble medium. It’s paper. Painted paper. With a power to make us wonder and stand in awe, to feel small, to be joyful. Paper! Yet in each construction we glimpse what happened that day, that moment, each cut and pin hole revealed and we understand somehow where this came from, and something of who. It’s a rare moment to view these works, a moment to consider the remarkable nature of the ordinary in the hands of the extraordinary.
Imitation is easy, no new ground, just an appreciation of someone who very long ago did the real work. And left for any of us a bit of the joy a simple pair of scissors can shape, and a reminder that the patches and pinholes are all the better.